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Archive | December, 2009

Great Lakes regional conference focuses on carp control

By Rep. Tom Pearce, 73rd District

On December 11 and 12, I, along with some of my Michigan colleagues as well as colleagues from the states and Canadian provinces surrounding the Great Lakes, attended a meeting in Chicago to discuss concerns regarding the Great Lakes. The discussion was primarily on invasive species but specifically addressed the problem of Asian carp moving into the Great Lakes, where they will endanger indigenous fish and threaten the multi-billion dollar economy of the Great Lakes.

Evidence shows that the Asian carp have made their way north up the Mississippi River and are at serious risk of breaching the electronic barriers currently in place in the channel between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. During our discussion we heard directly from the lead individual from Illinois who is monitoring the Asian carp crisis. He reported that while Asian carp DNA has been found beyond the electronic barrier, to date there is no evidence that the barrier has been breached by more than one or two carp.  It may even be that the DNA found beyond the barrier was transported on the hull of ships.  While this is good news, I have two major concerns.  My first concern is that there are many tributaries within close proximity to the Chicago channel and during flood season there may be potential for these fish to move out of the channel and into a tributary that would lead to Lake Michigan.  My other concern is that if the barriers have to be turned off for repairs, this would offer open access during that period of time for the carp to continue to move north.

In response, as a coalition of legislators we are requesting that the federal government assign a federal agency to take the lead in preventing the Asian carp from moving further north. We are also requesting the third phase of barriers within the Chicago channel be put in place as quickly as possible. Finally we are asking the federal government to look at surrounding tributaries that should have barriers installed to prevent further movement north if the carp move from one tributary to another during flood season.

Please know that I will continue to watch and monitor action taken by the federal government and our states.  I believe we must do all that we can to keep the Asian carp out of our Great Lakes.

Posted in OutdoorsComments (0)

National Honor Society is “raking” a Difference

1.Here Ben Colburn and Ashton Willis are caught raking leaves for a neighbor of the school.

1.Here Ben Colburn and Ashton Willis are caught raking leaves for a neighbor of the school.

 From left to right, Mr. Verwey, Ashton Willis, Kaitlyn Cooper, CJ Bouck, Cody Mogdis, and Ben Colburn take a break in the leaves they just raked.

From left to right, Mr. Verwey, Ashton Willis, Kaitlyn Cooper, CJ Bouck, Cody Mogdis, and Ben Colburn take a break in the leaves they just raked.

The NHS of CTA, with rakes in hand, walked around the city of Cedar Springs on November 21, 2009, looking for some leaves to rake and, thereby lend a helping hand.  “The goal was to find some leaves to rake and spread some early holiday cheer by doing something for someone else without being asked, “said student, Kaitlyn Cooper.

Kaitlyn came up with the idea after being taught that NHS is all about finding out where one can make a difference in the environment around them.  Mr. Verwey, a science teacher at CTA and newly elected NHS advisor, mentioned that “it was really rewarding to be there with the students who went out looking for someone to help.”

The National Honor Society values fit in well with the philosophy of the Academy which seeks to encourage students to make positive choices and serve their communities.

Posted in CTA, SchoolsComments (0)

CTA Bands Play Holiday Concert

cta-Band-concertOn Tuesday, December 8, the Creative Technologies Academy Band students performed their holiday concert at CTA’s auditorium in Cedar Springs. Band students in grades 5-12 participated in the performance, playing music ranging from Renaissances Dances to Christmas carols from around the world. The high school band students also performed duets that they had arranged themselves, based on a musical game by Mozart. Band students went caroling around the school performing for the entire student body and staff on Thursday and Friday before Christmas break.

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Holiday plays

cta-Plays1cta-Play-ElfisThe students in grades K-4 performed holiday plays last Tuesday for students, staff, families, and friends.  Students in grades K-2 performed, “How the Penguins Saved Christmas,” and the students in the third and fourth grades performed, “Elfis and the Sleigh Riders.”  The students did a wonderful job remembering their lines, and all of the different songs.
Fourth grade student, Gabe Kelly, did a wonderful job as Elfis.

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Opening night

My family and I savored some 3-D delights of the recently released animated version of A Christmas Carol on its opening day. My children, being fans of Jim Carey’s farcical talents, and I, a lover of stories I knew as a kid, discovered a new ritual to prep us for the Christmas season, like the first snowfall of December. The movie was itself the “…scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmas’ long, long ago” about which we sing every year.

I was personally moved by the film’s images of Christmas Eve as a wildly festive occasion full of dance and drink and food and friends. The grand event erupted upon the creaky floors of an accountant’s shop where Ebenezer once worked as a young man, tucked among the cold alleys of 19th century London. And it struck me immediately, “Why do we no longer celebrate like that? What could others see as they peered through the windows of my own living room on a Christmas Eve yet to come? My wife loves to dance, so why don’t we on this most amazing of nights?” Maybe it was the ghost of Christmas future that got me thinking.

It being the Eve of the greatest day of the year, I remind you that tonight the darkness of Advent is pierced by the light of Christmas, the light that is Jesus himself. The “mourning of exile” (O Come Immanuel) is finally met with rejoicing. The waiting and anticipation are overcome with enduring joy and celebration. Tonight is that night! Tonight begins a jubilation (or “Whobilation” if you’re a little green person who lives on a snowflake) unlike any other!

A contemporary writer tells of the scenes that unfolded long ago on May 8, 1945. First from Paris, then London, the home footage of thousands of joyful faces pouring onto streets throughout Europe to celebrate the end of the war. Hitler was dead, and Nazi Germany turned back. VE (Victory in Europe) Day broke out as a mass of “celebrations so utterly unscripted and purely joyful” by people who had every reason to do so. “Soldiers kissed by young girls, champagne corks popping, aircraft flying in formation overhead, elderly folks and children all waving small flags, people dancing, laughing, and weeping. The raucous party was enough to bring a lump to your throat and tears to your eyes.”

Caught up in the busyness of our holiday culture, on top of an already full life of struggles and skirmishes and disappointments, we forget that the “war” will one day end. In a life where it seems always to be winter but Christmas never comes (C.S. Lewis), indeed it does! Tonight we sing the songs of freedom, hope, joy, peace, and love—all from, through, and to a God who has secured victory. Tonight at midnight I will take in the great occasion at the cathedral of St Francis downtown Grand Rapids where the bells will sound the victory of God with us—“Immanuel.”

At the same time, we must also know that tonight is but a prelude; one day Jesus will return, but then in far different fashion (Revelation 19-22). Salvation and power will be established, the Kingdom of our God, the authority of His Messiah! (Revelation 12.) Tonight ushers us to the great party that is Christmas, and Christmas points us to the great celebration we will know at the return of Jesus.

So, celebrate well this “Opening Night” of God’s grand story. And if you’re going to dance, be sure to invite my wife and me.

Pastor Chad Wight,
The Journey Church

Posted in Church Connection, From the PulpitComments (0)


_C-Wedding-MorrisLumbertDanielle Lumbert and Gabriel Morris were united in marriage October 17 at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church. Dana, the daughter of Judy and Michael Lumbert of Fenwick, graduated from Carson-City High School, and Muskegon Baker College. She is employed at the Sheridan Hospital. Gabe, the son of Barbara & Greg Vanderkooi of Cedar Springs, and Troy and Fey Morris of Rockford, is a graduate of Cedar Springs High School. Gabe is employed by the Michigan National Guard Band, and also Meijer. He is attending Montcalm Community College. They are making their home in Sheridan, Michigan.

Posted in Announcement, Church ConnectionComments (0)

Lauren Marie Coblentz

_C-Birth-CoblentzMike and Felisha Coblentz of Gulf Port, Mississippi (hometown Cedar Springs) would like to announce the birth of their daughter Lauren Marie. Lauren was born 3 months early at the University of Alabama Womens and Childrens Hospital in the neonatal unit. Weighing in at 2 pounds 11 ounces and was 14 inches long. Lauren has been doing so good that she was transported by ambulance to a Hospital in Gulf Port, Mississippi where she continues to grow stronger every day. Not only will this be her first Christmas, we are all praying that she will get to go home for Christmas. Proud grandparents are Rick and Donna Cotten and Mike and Sharon Coblentz. Proud aunts and uncle Fernon, Fallon, Fenessa, and MavRick Cotten all of Cedar Springs, and aunt Michelle and uncle Brian, cousins Javone and Izaiha Reyes of Sparta.

Posted in Births, Church ConnectionComments (0)

Elliana Jayde Henney

_C-Birth-HenneySara DeMull and Paul Henney, of Cedar Springs, would like to announe the birth of their daughter, Elliana Jayde Henney,  born on November 21, 2009 at 11:27 a.m. in Spectrum Health Hospital. Baby Elliana weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and measured 19 ½ inches. She is welcomed by big sister Haleigh DeMull; grandparents Dawn DeMull of Howard City, Sam & Jackie DeMull of Sand Lake, Bob & Karen Henney of Hastings; and great-grandparents Darlene Price of Cedar Springs

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Leland Hill

Mr. Leland “Ernie” Hill, age 69, of Cedar Springs, passed away on Sunday, December 20, 2009. He was one of 16 children who grew up on a farm in Fulton, Kansas. Needless to say, Ernie knew that there was always work to be done. At the age of 17, his mother signed so he could enlist in the U.S. Marine Corp. After that, he worked in the oil fields. Then he came to Michigan where he met Dorothy at a dance. After courtship and falling in love, they were married on October 5, 1962. In 1966, his father-in-law, Enoch Clayton and Ernie opened the Algoma Foundry (just west of Cedar Springs). For about 25 years, they operated the foundry. Together, Ernie and Dorothy liked to ice fish in their “fishing condo.” As the children were growing up, they have many great memories of their vacations in different parts of the country. The best one included Ernie, Dorothy, their children and grandchildren; they went to Disney World in a motor home. Family was very important him, and he and Dorothy were blessed to have 47 years of marriage together. He is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy; children, Mike and Eileen Hill of Cedar Springs, Cindy Aley of Cedar Springs; grandchildren,  Zachary Aley, Cassandra Aley; brothers and sister, Jack (Alice Ann) Hill, Wayne (Marge) Hill, Howard Robert (Pat) Hill, David Hill, Katheryn (Jim) Cochran, Danny Hill, Dwight Hill; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, Robert Hill, Edison Hill, Lawrence Hill, Kenneth Goff, Donald Goff, Russell Hill, Basil Hill, and Joan Ann Wheeler. The Memorial Service for Ernie will be Saturday, December 26, 2009, at 1:00 p.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Military honors will be under the auspices of the U.S. Marine Corp. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Health Center, c/o Blodgett & Butterworth Health Care Foundation, 100 Michigan, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Arrangements by The Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

Posted in Church Connection, ObituaryComments (0)

Richard O. Clingan

Richard O.  Dick  Clingan, 76 of Cedar Springs, died Friday, December 18, 2009 at Spectrum Health   Butterworth Campus. Dick was born March 7, 1933 in Solon Township, MI the son of Ralph and Blanche (Snethen) Clingan. He served his country in the U.S. Army. He was a dairy farmer and avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed traveling and riding his motorcycle with his wife. Surviving are his wife of 53 years, Edna (Weinrich); 3 children, Pamela (Doug) Swanson, Timothy Clingan, Thomas Clingan; 2 grandchildren, Krista (Greg) Dunbar, Keith Swanson; 3 great grandchildren, Sydney, Emersyn and Macey; brother, Larry (Sheila) Clingan; sister, Ardena (Bruce) Roberts; three special family members, Theresa Lamb, Brandon Rockey, and Betty Brink; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a great niece. The family received friends Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, www.blisswitterspike.com where services were held Tuesday 1:00 pm. Pastor Jim Howard officiating. Interment Solon Township Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Salvation Army.

Arrangements by Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs, www.blisswitterspike.com

Posted in Church Connection, ObituaryComments (0)

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